[Tagging] sidewalks and tagging for the renderer

Peter Wendorff wendorff at uni-paderborn.de
Tue Apr 10 18:44:21 BST 2012

Hi Martin.
You are right in that highway=footway is obsolete from a pure data point 
of view, IF the application supports it.
On the other hand, it might be very likely, that the corresponding 
street then gets a foot=no, as that's often the case, if you look at the 
street without the footway.

 From my point of view, highway=footway could be omitted as you suggest, 
but on the other hand, that would break routing for pedestrians, because 
the legacy/compatibility attribute highway=footway is missing.

The question is: is more data basically good or bad? Are 
applications/developers asked to adapt their code to a changing tagging 
system, or has the tagging system keep track of compatibility issues 
with more or less outdated software?

In this case IMHO forcing devs (of software and styles) to adapt to the 
new possibilities is better as the maps gets more and more cluttered for 
software, that is not aware of the change.
Software/Style, that is up to date can cope with that, at outdated 
software it's visible that things go wrong and people will complain 
about it, until it's changed.

If in turn we remove the highway=footway tag, devs simply ignore good 
ideas and features, because they are probably even not aware of the 
possibilities inside.


Am 10.04.2012 18:38, schrieb Martin Koppenhoefer:
> I am coming back to a topic we had some time ago: sidewalks.
> According to this page
> http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:footway%3Dsidewalk
> sidewalks should be tagged with
> highway=footway
> footway=sidewalk
> While I agree that for complex situations it is helpful to have
> dedicated geometry in OSM, I fail to understand why this should be
> tagged "highway=*". Usually a distinct highway should be drawn only in
> the case of a separated carriageway.
> The suggested tagging is IMHO "tagging for the renderer". For tagging
> sidewalks it would be sufficent to tag them with footway=sidewalk
> without the highway-tag. In analogy to this tagging we would
> optionally be mapping an ordinary street as dual carriageway and tag
> each with highway=residential, oneway=yes, residential=lane.
> New tags should be constructed in a way that doesn't change the
> meaning of existing tags, but only adds detail to the existing meaning
> in the case of a suggested tag-combination. In the case of sidewalks
> dataconsumers that don't evaluate the footway=sidewalk tag will get
> those highway=footway, which are tagged like this, wrong.
> cheers,
> Martin
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